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Ayanda Gcaba backs Kjell Jonevret and wishes departed Orlando Pirates players well

Posted: 27 July 2017 Time: 13:36

Orlando Pirates defender Ayanda Gcaba has thrown his weight behind coach Kjell Jonevret and downplays the player movements at the club during the current transfer window.

With the Absa Premiership race set to start a week later on August 19, there is still some uncertainty surrounding players and the coach's futures at one of the Soweto giants.

Despite the league's delay in releasing fixtures for the 2017/18 PSL season, competitive fixtures are expected to kick-off in just over two weeks beginning with the MTN 8 quarterfinals, but Pirates will play no part therein following their 11th place finish last term.

Meanwhile, media reports are rife that Jonevret's days are numbered at the Buccaneers as speculation mounts on a possible return of Serbian coach Milutin Sredojevic, who is currently on leave from his Uganda national team job.

Just six months since arriving at the Mayfair-based club, Jonevret himself is in the dark as to whether he is coming or going but insists he is trying his best to remain professional and prepare the team as best he can, should he be afforded more time to re-establish the ship amongst the country's elite.

While information pertaining to his mentor's job safety might be above his pay grade, Gcaba has nonetheless expressed his backing for the Swedish tactician as they continue preparations for the upcoming campaign.

"He's a great coach. I've worked with other great coaches – Eric Tinkler, Roger de Sa, 'VV' [Vladimir Vermezovic] – and each coach has his own philosophy and the players that he wants to play," Gcaba said in the build-up to their Carling Black Lable Cup clash against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday (15h30).

"I've been happy and grateful that he came and gave me a chance to play, and I've been playing [regularly], so we will see how things go next season."

Not only has there been instability in the future of their coach but it also reaches down to the players, as long-serving goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo was shipped out to Chippa United before reports quickly linked him with a imminent return.

But Gcaba understands that unexpected player movements are part of the territory, and wishes those who have left the club well for their futures.

"It's football – players come and go – they have gone. We aren't happy about it but it's part of football and part of life," he conceded.

"Wherever they are, I hope they do their best and we just have to focus on ourselves."

Article by: Chad Klate
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